LONDON. FRIDAY, 19 OCTOBER, 1888
Largest Circulation of Any Evening Paper in the Kingdom.
The Total Circulation of
For the Six Days ending 6 Oct. was
1, 302, 950.
A DAILY AVERAGE
A Licensed House Closed for Three Years and the Police Did Not Know.
The attention of the licensing authorities has just been called to a flagrant instance of dereliction of duty on the part of the police in Knightsbridge that has resulted in the renewal of a public-house license during three years when the premises were closed. The place in question is the old Windsor Castle, No. 7, Middle-row, High-road, Knightsbridge. The leaseholder is James Charlton Humphries, a very large property-holder in that neighborhood, and sublet by him. A little more than three years ago the tenant left the place on Mr. Humphries's hands, and, until the arrival of a new tenant, only a few months ago, it was closed up, and used only as a store-room for iron work, in which the proprietor was interested. This fact, however, seems to have been no obstacle in the way of the continual renewal of the license. Mr. Humphries doubtless had his reasons for not wishing the license to become extinct, and he cannot be blamed for his success in securing its continuance. So long as application is made for renewal, and no objection is made, the authorities usually grant the application. At the same time, however, they look to the police for any information that properly relates to the premises under consideration. Here was a place from which the blinds had not been taken down for three years. Yet it was well known in the neighborhood that it was still licensed. It was clearly the duty of the police to call attention to the circumstances. The neighboring publicans were not likely to object to a house that was doing no business at all, and it is only because a new tenant has come in, and because there seems to be a fear of the transfer of the license to a more pretentious establishment at an early date, that the matter has now been brought to the attention of the authorities, and even now it seems to be too late, for the very renewal of the license all this time without objection having been made, and once since it has been reopened as well, makes it rather a difficult matter to refuse any future application in the absence of objection. The magistrates of St. Margaret's, Westminster, within whose jurisdiction the property lies, would never have renewed the license if they had known the place was closed. They sent for an inspector of police when they heard of it, and asked why they had not been informed of the facts; and all that the inspector could do was to plead that he was a new man in that division and knew nothing about it.
The committee of investigation appointed by the St. Pancras Vestry yesterday concluded their labors in reference to the recent scandals alleging the removal of the bodies of the poor at night after interment in the day to some place and for some purpose unknown. One of the allegations made by two gravediggers was that the body of an old woman, which had been buried in a pauper grave, had been dug out from among other bodies by "candle-light," that the coffin had been broken open, the body taken out, placed in another coffin that had been brought and prepared for it, and that it was conveyed away no one knew whither. It seems that this occurrence took place 12 years ago, and that it was under an order from the Home Secretary, in accordance with the Act of Parliament 20 and 30 Vic., c. 81, section 25. A rigid enquiry into the other allegations as to the removal of bodies has elicited the fact that no bodies when once buried have ever been removed from the cemetery unless under the order of the Home Secretary or on the coroner's orders, of which there have been several, for the purpose of holding inquests.
The Whitechapel Standard of Comparison.
Elizabeth Jessup, a smart-looking young woman, dressed as a widow, was charged at Dalston with drunkenness. She denied the charge, and said that a man named Woolley told her that he would cut her throat and that he had cut up a better woman than her. - Mr. Bros remanded her.
The police have been this morning engaged in excavating the ground in the basement rooms of the buildings at Whitehall. They have employed a bloodhound, but their search up to midday was fruitless.
Half of a Human Kidney Sent Through the Post.
Mr. George Lusk, the chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, has been the recipient of an extraordinary parcel. It reached him through the post on Tuesday evening, and on examination it was found to contain a meaty substance that gave off a very offensive odour. A closer inspection showed that the article was a portion of a kidney. Enclosed in the box with it was a letter, worded in these revolting terms:-
"From Hell - Mr. Lusk. - Sir, I send you half the kidne I took from one woman. Prasarved it for you. Tother piece I fried and ate; it was very nice. I may send you the bloody knife that took it out, if you only wate whil longer. - (Signed) CATCH ME WHEN YOU CAN, MR. LUSK."
Mr. Lusk decided to bring the matter before the Vigilance Committee, which met at the Crown, Mile-end-road, on Wednesday evening. It was then agreed to investigate the subject next day, and yesterday morning Mr. J. Aarons, the treasurer; Mr. W. Harris, the secretary; and Messrs. Reeves and Lawton, members of the Vigilance Committee, proceeded to Mr. Lusk's house to inspect the strange parcel. As no definite conclusion could be arrived at, it was decided to call upon Dr. Wiles, of 56, Mile-end-road. In his absence Mr. F. S. Reed, his assistant, examined the contents of the box, and at once expressed an opinion that the article formed the half of a human kidney, which had been divided longitudinally. He thought it best, however, to submit the kidney to Dr. Openshaw, the pathological curator at the London Hospital, and this was at once done. By the use of the microscope Dr. Openshaw was able to determine that the kidney had been taken from a full-grown human being, and that the portion before him was
It at once occurred to the Vigilance Committee that at the inquest on the body of the woman Eddowes who was murdered at Mitre-square, Aldgate, it was stated that the left kidney was missing, and in view of this circumstance it was deemed advisable to at once communicate with the police. Accordingly the parcel and the accompanying letter and postcard were at once taken to Leman-street Police-station, and the matter placed in the hands of Inspector Abberline. Subsequently the City police were communicated with, as the discovery relates to a crime occurring within their jurisdiction. The cardboard box which Mr. Lusk received is about 3½in. square, and was wrapped in paper. The cover bears a London post-mark, but the stamping is not sufficiently clear to enable it to be stated from what postal district of the metropolis the article was sent. On this point it is expected that the assistance of the Post Office officials will be invoked. The portion of the kidney which it enclosed has, according to the medical experts, been preserved for some time in spirits of wine. The person from whom it was taken was probably
a circumstance which fits in with the suggestion that the organ may have been taken from the body of the deceased woman Eddowes, murdered in Mitre-square. Another fact is that the kidney is evidently that of a person who had been a considerable drinker, as there were distinct marks of disease. The handwriting of the letter differs altogether from that of "Jack the Ripper," specimens of whose caligraphy were recently published. The writing is of an inferior character, evidently disguised, while the spelling, as will be seen, is indifferent. A few days before he received the parcel Mr. Lusk received a postcard supposed to come from the same source. It reads:-
Say Boss -
You seem rare frightened, guess I'd like to give you fits, but can't stop time enough to let you box of toys play copper games with me, but hope to see you when I don't hurry too much.
There seems to be no room for doubt that what has been sent to Mr. Lusk is part of a human kidney, but nevertheless it may be doubted whether it has any serious bearing on the Mitre-square murder. The whole thing may possibly turn out to be a medical student's gruesome joke.
Dr. Openshaw told a Star reporter to-day that after having examined the piece of kidney under the microscope he was of opinion that it was half of a left human kidney. He couldn't say, however, whether it was that of a woman, nor how long ago it had been removed from the body, as it had been preserved in spirits.
It is believed that the "revolting parcel" is not from the murderer, but is merely a medical student's practical joke.
The Metropolitan Police last night handed the piece of kidney over to the City Police on the assumption that if the whole thing is not, as is most likely, the disgusting trick of some practical joker, it relates to the Mitre-square crime.
The forthcoming number of Murray's Magazine will contain an article upon the police of the metropolis by Sir Charles Warren.
The Central News is informed, upon inquiry, that the statement that the City Police have arrested in Bermondsey a man, supposed to be an American and concerned in the Whitechapel murders, is quite incorrect. No such arrest, say the police, has been made, and at present they have no one in custody.
East End Poverty.
SIR, - Dr. Drysdale is to the fore again in your columns with his Malthusian solution of the social problem.
May I, sir, as a humble member of the army of workers, suggest to him, an experienced physician, that he has mistaken in over-population of the poor a symptom for the cause or origin of the great social disease.
How many of the poor creatures who are stived up in their dog hutches of dwellings have any sort of social environment calculated to excite any healthful motives of moral pleasure? I think most of them are forced to resort to the two things that bring about the symptoms complained of by Dr. Drysdale.
Remove them and the disease will find another outlet in perhaps a more inconvenient form to the classes whose very existence is the cause of theirs. - Yours, &c.,
SIR, - Dr. Drysdale has hit upon the causes of East-end poverty in his letter to you: i.e., drink and over-population. But how to apply the remedy, there's the rub. I believe it is legislation alone which can remedy both.
Whilst philosophers, preachers, and reformers have been proving the drink curse to be fraught with abounding social evils for several decades past, politicians have still allowed the miasmatic stream to flow unchecked, because the pockets of the wealthy and influential are interested, and decline to interfere.
A short Act should also prohibit the marriage of infants destitute of any means or powers of earning, and all parsons and registrars should be placed under a heavy penalty who married young pauper couples, and all under 21 at lowest.
The less reference to the example of France the better for our social and national life. - Yours, &c.,
SIR, - Poverty Cause of Social Evil. - Would you be surprised that wealth has much to do with it? Go to Piccadilly-circus at midnight and discover the cause of women being there. It was in the first instance wealth! Decoyed by men of means from honest livelihoods. Few women are naturally so depraved, but men bring them down. Make your men virtuous, and this evil disappears. Make all total abstainers, and poverty disappears; but not otherwise. Poverty cannot or ought not to indulge in either of these evils. Men can live better without both. - Yours, &c.,